Holiday Season in Vegas Comes To Life With Sights & Sounds

Las Vegas transforms into a winter wonderland to celebrate the holiday season by creating magical moments for every visitor.

Bellagio Conservatory Botanical Gardens - Holiday Display 2013 - Holiday Tree
Bellagio Conservatory Botanical Gardens – Holiday Display 2013 – Holiday Tree

Holiday Season in Las Vegas

Traditions run deep in the destination with holiday decor and displays, ice skating rinks and snow flurries.

Holiday Lights
Downtown Las Vegas kicks-off the holiday season when Mayor Goodman and Santa Claus light Las Vegas’ official Christmas tree on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. The tree will be brilliantly decorated and shine brightly below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision Canopy. The annual Grand Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. The Grand Menorah will be lit by Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and on display through the holiday season at the Fremont Street Experience.

The Venetian gets into the holiday spirit with a 65-foot tall Italian-inspired holiday tree that’s located at Doge’s Palace. This beautiful tree is adorned with 50,000 programmable LED lights and 5,000 ornaments. Inside, the Waterfall Atrium & Gardens at The Palazzo offers an elaborate show-stopping winter display, a creation of The Palazzo’s award-winning horticulture team. The winter gardens feature white poinsettias accented with champagne, gold and green. Ice branches and 20-foot frosted birch, pine and glittering trees also complement the picturesque scene.

Winter in Venice at the Venetian
Winter in Venice at the Venetian

Bellagio will unveil its winter display Dec. 4 at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Guests can admire the decorations that include more than 28,000 fresh poinsettias. A 42-foot-tall holiday tree will stand as the focal point of the display and will be decorated with 7,000 warm white LED lights and 2,500 ornaments. Two 12-foot-tall snow globes will sit at the base of the tree. Across the Conservatory, animated penguins will build igloos around a stage where live performances fill the air with sounds of the season nightly. The Fountains of Bellagio will also add eight holiday songs to its daily performances, beginning Nov. 28. Some of the songs include Hallelujah Chorus, Carol of the Bells, O Holy Night, Santa Baby and Sleigh Ride.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

The horticulture team at Wynn Las Vegas has transformed the resort into a festive landscape for all to enjoy. Guests will delight in more than 30 beautifully embellished holiday trees, 10,000 multicolored poinsettias, 33 dazzling wreaths, 2,500 feet of garland, six ornate menorahs and seasonal lighting throughout the resort.

The Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden is open for the season through Jan. 1. The garden is lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. and admission to this desert spectacle is free. Guests are also invited to peek in on the Ethel M Chocolate factory which is in full swing for the holiday season.

Ethel M Cactus Garden
Ethel M Cactus Garden

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts the 14th annual Glittering Lights through Jan. 4. The premier drive-thru light show features hundreds of displays along the 2.5-mile racetrack. The show starts nightly at 5:30 p.m.

Fashion Show Mall and Dream Works Animation take guests on a never-before-seen, magical experience with Adventure to Santa. Join Shrek and his friends as they take guests on an interactive journey to find Santa at the North Pole. This 15-minute experience is located at The Great Hall on the lower level of Nordstrom, now through Dec. 24.

Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall flips the switch on its Mystic Falls Park Light and Water Show on Nov. 26 at 4:30 p.m. This winter wonderland experience also includes a 15-minute laser light show starting nightly at 5 p.m. Cowboy Santa also makes an appearance Thursday-Sunday from Nov. 27 to Dec. 21.

Mystic Falls at Sam's Town
Mystic Falls at Sam’s Town

Underwater Santa will also take a plunge in the Silverton Hotel & Casino’s 117,000 gallon aquarium. He’ll pose for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekend in December, leading up to Christmas.

Winter Wonderland Activities & Entertainment
Holiday revelers are invited to lace up their ice skates as The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has once again transformed the iconic Boulevard Pool into The Ice Rink. This year it will feature a new experience on the Las Vegas Strip, snow showers. Under the blanket of falling snow, guests will experience showers throughout the evening while skating, roasting s’mores and enjoying a holiday cocktail.

 The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink
The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink

The Venetian will host its culinary event of the year, Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, from Dec. 5-7. Featuring lavish feasts of the finest food and extraordinary experiences from an A-team of luxury brands, Ultimo will celebrate the romance of Italy and the magic of its cuisine as it unfolds around The Venetian and The Palazzo. Celebrity chefs include Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse and Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro.

Caesars Chalet will offer a traditional ice skating rink with an infusion of entertainment and special activities at Caesars Palace. Guests will ice skate over the iconic fountain in front of the property, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. Ninety-minute skating sessions and extended passes are available along with seasonal food and beverages.

Vocal sensations and Vegas headliners Human Nature will perform a brand new show Christmas, Motown and More for 12 dates at The Venetian this holiday season, starting Dec. 12, through Christmas Eve.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will deck its halls with festival performances this holiday season. Nevada Ballet Theatre presents its annual production of The Nutcracker from Dec. 13-21. This year’s cast features more than 100 dancers, including 60 children. Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold will take place Nov. 28 and Dec. 3-6, inside the Troesh Studio Theater. Infinitely versatile songstress Kristen Hertzenberg and critically-acclaimed pianist Philip Fortenberry return to Cabaret Jazz with Holidays from the Heart on Dec. 13.

The dynamic cast of Legends in Concert at Flamingo Las Vegas, will greet the winter season with the debut of its holiday show on Nov. 30. Guests will enjoy holiday tunes performed by both classic and modern legends like Elvis, Britney Spears, Bobby Darin, Barbara Streisand and more.

Old Saint Nick is making several stops in Las Vegas to spread holiday cheer. Guests can celebrate his arrival with a parade at Tivoli Village on Nov. 28; at 10:30 a.m. Santa will then be trading in his elves for zebra sharks and green sea turtles at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Holiday patrons may visit “Santa in the Shipwreck,” every Saturday and Sunday during the first three weekends of December. Santa will also be at the Luxor Hotel & Casino on Dec. 16, from 1-3 p.m. to greet guests and pose for pictures on the opulent Grand Staircase at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

A trip to Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest will instill the holiday spirit. Wind through the holiday tree forest bedecked with whimsical decorations with nearly three million lights, or hop on the Forest Express passenger train and Enchanted Carousel. Attractions are open through Jan. 4. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Las Vegas Great Santa Run. On Dec. 6, one of the world’s largest gatherings of Santa-clad runners will take place in downtown Las Vegas, beginning at Fremont Street Experience and spanning across popular downtown venues. The Great Santa Run raises funds and awareness for Opportunity Village, which provides unparalleled opportunities to nearly 3,000 citizens with disabilities and their families throughout the Las Vegas area.

Town Square brings holiday cheer in the form of snowflakes. The flurries will fall nightly at Town Square Park until Dec. 23. An additional show will take place at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Town Square Park is also home to the Holiday Nights and Lights Community Concerts on Thursday nights at 6 p.m. until Dec. 18. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa through Christmas Eve.

Foodie Festivities
STK, the steakhouse inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, can’t wait to treat guests to an unforgettable holiday menu. From sundaes that smoke to chocolate peppermint tarts, guests won’t want to stop eating these festive creations once they start.

Chefs are cooking up a foodie feast at Wynn Las Vegas from Dec. 1, through Christmas Day. Choose from a variety of unique pairing tree menus at Botero, Country Club, Mizumi and Lakeside. Guests may enjoy the nog and grog holiday pop-up experience at Encore’s High Limit Bar, with one-of-a-kind variations of the classic eggnog and the timeless grog beverage.

Santa Claus will make his way from the North Pole to Jean Philippe Patisserie at Bellagio this holiday season where he will sit in his favorite chair and welcome visitors. Made entirely out of edible treats such as chocolate, fondant and sugar icing, the Santa Claus display is sure to bring out everyone’s holiday cheer.

Select restaurants at Treasure Island Las Vegas are offering special Christmas Day menus. Guests can dine at Seafood Shack, Phil’s Italian Steakhouse, The Buffet and Gilley’s while creating new holiday memories.

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